Singapore Grand Prix – Ferrari will have new aero parts on their SF90 this weekend, in an effort to reduce their weakness at high downforce, slow speed circuits.
While Ferrari once were the favourites coming to the tortuous Marina Bay circuit in Singapore, a change in their design philosophy to a low-drag, lower downforce concept for 2019 means that the track is unlikely to play to their strengths.
Monaco and Hungary, circuits which are most similar in characteristics to Marina Bay, were pretty miserable affairs for the Scuderia as they were left trailing both Mercedes and Red Bull Racing. With their low-drag philosophy and exceptionally powerful engines, Ferrari finally reaped some rewards by winning at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza with Charles Leclerc but Singapore is likely to be a much more subdued effort this weekend.
As a result, team boss Mattia Binotto says they are going into the weekend knowing they’re on the back foot but that an effort to reduce their weakness has been made: “Coming from back to back victories is a good feeling for the team and for our tifosi, but in reality, these victories are already behind us and we are well aware that Singapore will present new challenges and a layout in which our car is not as strong as at other circuits.”
“We are bringing a few new parts there as part of our effort to close the gap to the competition, at a track that features predominantly slow speed corners. This race also sees the return of the Hypersoft tyre compound, which has not been used since the Canadian GP (where Sebastian Vettel crossed the finishing line first, but was demoted to P2 by a time penalty).”
Charles Leclerc, the sport’s most recent new victor with his two wins in Belgium and Italy, also says that, on paper, this weekend isn’t likely to be a great one for Ferrari: “After two positive weekends in Belgium and Italy, the race in Singapore doesn’t look as good on paper for us, because of the very different circuit layout, featuring lots of of slow corners and fewer straights. It might be a more difficult weekend for us, but we will give our all to have a good result.”